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How to engage C-suite execs: CXO Focus

Your cloud tech business is growing rapidly. So rapidly that your sales teams are getting traction with some of the world’s biggest companies. But there’s a problem. When these major deals are landing on the CIOs’ desks, a question comes back: “Who are these guys?”

That was the challenge facing cloud computing firm Nutanix. They knew they needed to engage C-suite execs earlier in the sales process – to raise brand awareness, instil confidence, knock down silos and unlock budgets. 

The conversation needed to be elevated from the technical discussions they’d typically been having with IT management to the transformative power of technology. But how to impactfully influence C-suite decision-makers? What would truly achieve cut-through?

To find out, Nutanix conducted a series of interviews with CIOs from the world’s top 200 organisations to ask what they really wanted to hear from a company like Nutanix.

The answer was clear: a high-level programme of exclusive content and events for C-suite executives in need of market-leading intelligence. And crucially, insight that they can use to successfully lead and drive business transformation.

Position yourself as a confidant, not a vendor

Based on the market research, the Nutanix global marketing team partnered with us to devise CXO Focus – a high-level framework of exclusive content and events built around four pillars, each designed to tackle an issue close to the hearts of C-level leaders: Learn, Network, Advise, and Give Back.

In addition to the content itself, to help position Nutanix as a thought leader and the go-to resource for C-Level execs, CXO Focus needed its own identity. We created something which worked as a standalone look and feel, but with a subtle association to the parent brand – one that is recognisable, exclusive, and ownable. 

Time-poor and knowledge hungry

If you want to engage with C-suite stakeholders, you need to prove your value and position yourself as a trusted advisor. They should never have to ask themselves “what is this, and why should I care?”. You also need to stand out from the noise and be different.

From thought leadership to featured individuals, hot takeaways, deep dives to on-demand recorded events, we made it easy for time-poor, knowledge-hungry CXOs to stay informed and up-to-minute.

We created a visual identity to bring on-and off-line content to life across all touchpoints. Sharp, angular shapes and a contrasting black and white aesthetic provides a cutting-edge look and feel, and the X/chevron treatment complements Nutanix’ branding. The clean, minimalist visual style is paired with clear and direct messaging. A brand film is used to engage people on a more emotive level. 

Exclusive, engaging, and comprehensive content and events all focus on what target customers want, housed on a CXO Focus’ microsite. And then Nutanix crafted a journey to interact with them and drive them to the microsite via display advertising, emails, social channels, third party sponsorships via Harvard Business Review and other top tier publications.

Exceeded targets and award-winning work

One year after CXO Focus’ December 2019 launch, and under the huge challenge of a sharp pivot from live to online events due to COVID just three months in, the results were nothing short of extraordinary. So much so that the programme was extended into 2021 – with a 25% budget increase. CXO Focus has fast become the cornerstone of Nutanix’ marketing activity. 

For an in-depth look at CXO Focus and its results, check out our case study CXO Focus: The C-suite spot. By demonstrating an understanding of their audience’s business challenges and how to address them, we not only helped Nutanix smashed their targets, but received 2 x Golds at the B2B Marketing Elevation Awards and 2 x Golds at The Drum Awards B2B in the process.

A win-win all round!

Our Work